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Net neutrality comes back to haunt Google

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Richard Waters
Financial Times
July 14, 2010

Google has become the main advocate in Washington for a set of regulations to prevent internet service providers favouring particular companies’ traffic.

However, that campaign, over what is known as “net neutrality”, has handed a gift to its own detractors.

This year, “search neutrality” has become the rallying cry of activists who believe that Google has too much power to decide which internet sites are granted the attention that comes with a high search ranking, and which are consigned to outer darkness.

After regulating the “pipes” of the internet with net neutrality, says Frank Pasquale, a professor at Seton Hall law school, “we need to look at the next part of the bottleneck, and that means search”.

For now, there is no indication that Washington is interested in creating a regime to govern the search business, and the campaign has served mainly as a way for Google’s detractors to try to push it on to the defensive over other issues.

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This article was posted: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 3:41 am

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